Heralds of the Storm
Felix "Fuchs" Weber
Charismatic, skinny and very agile smuggler with a dark past.
RANK 1 REIKLANDER SMUGGLER
Skulduggery: XOO (Specialization: Picking Pockets)
WOUND THRESHOLD: 12
Fake Out (Social)
Devious Manoeuvre (Social, Support)
Shady (Reputation): Skulduggery Checks gain +1 Fortune Die
Notorious (Reputation): Guile Checks gain +1 Fortune Die
Smuggler (Career Talent): Skulduggery checks gain – [Griffon][Griffon] Add one fortune point to your party
Life. Is it a gift or a curse? What is it worth?
It depends on your circumstances really.
Life, the ultimate representation of nature and the gods on earth. Pure. And yet, it’s value is so dependent on your material belongings. On titles giving to you by men, not nature or the gods.
Life has tremendous worth if you are the Emperor or a Lord and yet it is worthless if you are a begger or a thief.
Felix’s life was worth nothing. And he knew it. It was worth something for a while, but then he lost it all again.
Felx, or Fuchs (fox) as he was called by most people that knew him, had never had it easy in life. He was born to a prositute who barely managed to keep him alive and never really loved him. He left his home, if you can call a makeshift shed in one of Altdorf’s slums a home, when he was 9 years old. And to be honest, he was better off alone. Life on the streets didn’t take much adjusting to. Rats had been part of his diet ever since he can remember and he had had to do horrible things to earn some brass before. All that didn’t really bother him.
What bothered him was this strange feeling that he was destined to be more. That this could not be it. And yet, the years passed and other than Felix becoming more bitter and dissillusioned nothing changed. He spent most of his days stealing, lying and begging.
On his 17th birthday however, fate finally found the fox.
The day had started badly. He hadn’t had anything to eat for a few days and so he found someone that would sponsor him a meal. It wouldn’t come free of course, but his hunger was so intense it suppressed the feeling of disgust he always had when it came to earning a meal in this fashion. It turns out he picked the wrong patron. This man in his 30s had a twisted mind. After it all ended Felix was no less hungry, instead he had now only one ring finger left. The sick bastard had taken the ring finger of his left hand as a souvenir.
Normally Felix would have accepted his fate, but there was something different about him that day. A flame inside of him lit by his anger. Not necessarily about the finger cutter, but at life. He decided to follow the pervert and get his finger back.
Over the years Felix had learned how to move silently and remain unseen. With the life he led, those were essential survival skills, and so it wasn’t hard for him to follow his pray without him noticing. He followed the bastard into a dark alley. He had no idea how he would get his finger back or what to do with it if he got it back, but he was not going to let this one go. The man was much stronger than him and had a weapon, but he somehow felt that things would be alright.
To his surpise the man was meeting someone else in the alley. A tall and strong man, dressed in reinforced leather armor, a polished rapier dangling on his belt. Suddenly the man who had humilated him and taken his finger didn’t seem so strong and confident anymore. Felix couldn’t hear what they were talking about but the cutter handed the other man his dagger. The same dagger that had taken his finger clean off.
Then, the man with the rapier looked straight at him. Felix thought that would be impossible. He had been careful. He had been quiet and it was dark. And yet, there was no doubt that he had been seen. Something prevented him from running. The tall man lifted his right hand and waved him over.
If it had been any other day, Felix would have made a run for it. Life on the streets of Altdorf had tought him not to trust anybody. Today however, he stood up and slowly walked over to the two men. The man who had cut his finger off had a disturbing grin on his face. The man with
the rapier on the other hand was very hard to read, and Felix was usually very good and knowing someones intentions just by looking at them.
“I am Gerhard Bauer, and this is Jacob.” he said pointing at the other man. “And you are Felix, am I right?”
Felix simply nodded. “I have been watching you for a few weeks now. You are quick with your hands. You know your way around the city, know the streets less traveled and how to avoid law enforcement. All those are skills I value highly” said Gerhard.
“See, Felix, I am the leader of a small but profitable merchant organization. However, let’s just say our organization does not play 100% by the rules. Playing by the rules is bad for our profit margin” Gerhard said with a smile. It was conforting for Felix to see him show some kind of human emotion.
Felix didn’t know what to say, so he just kept quiet. “I have an opening in my organization for someone with your skills”.
This seemed to be news to Jacob. “In fact I want to offer you Jacobs position”, Gerhard continued. At this point two men came seemingly out of nowhere and grabbed Jacob, who put up some resistance but promptly stopped trying. “See, Felix, I ordered Jacob to cut off your finger. I wanted to see how you would deal with the reality of life. Life is brutal and sometimes you need to make sacrifices to gain the upper hand. I am sorry, but it had to be done”, he said. His calmness about all this drove a chil down Felix’s spine. “Now, if you are interested in joining me, there is one last test. A simple one I would say, considering the circumstances.” Gerhard handed Felix the dagger that Jacob had used to cut off his finger. “See, Jacob here took some of my property and that is something I do not appreciate at all. Nobody takes something from Gerhard Bauer without being punished. Should you decide to join us, you should really remember that Felix.”
Felix of course knew what the final test was. He noticed the fear in Jacob’s eyes even though he was trying to hide it and seem strong. Felix looked at the dagger he had just been handed and considered his situation. On the one hand he didn’t know this Gerhard Bauer or the organization he claimed to be leading and he did order someone to cut his finger off. On the other hand he was now given the chance to take revenge on that man and possibly join a group that would allow
him a better life. He was giving the chance to take matters into his own hands. Hands now wielding a deadly dagger.
He took one last look at his left hand with the missing finger. Then he rammed the dagger into Jacobs chest.
Over the next 5 years Felix rose within the Silent Merchants. The organization lead by Gerhard Bauer. During the day Gerhard was a resepcted merchant to the rich. When in the shadows he was a ruthless gang leader. And now Felix was part of this, not a mere thief anymore. He was now smuggling valuable drugs, body parts and other illegal goods. No longer was he hunting for rats in the streets, but eating proper cooked meals. His life had definitely improved and yet, he was not satisfied. There was still something lacking in his life. To Felix’s own demise, he was convinced that Clara, Gerhard’s wife was that thing.
Felix had never been good around women back during his time on the streets. But his new job as a smuggler had given him the confidence to go with his good looks and charm. After some months of sneaky courting he finally had what he thought he needed to lead a fulfilled life. Sure it was only an affair and Felix knew it was dangerous, but that was part of what exited him so much.
One night Clara told Felix something that would change his life for ever. She said that she knew how to get the combination to Gerhard’s lockbox where he kept so much gold that they could live comfortably until their final days. Apparently Gerhard didn’t have the best memory and he changed the combination to his locked at least weekly out of fear of someone figuring it out. So he kept a small vial with a rolled up piece of parchment on a necklace around his neck with the current combination. He never took it off. Clara didn’t have to say it. The only way of getting it would be to take the life of the man who had given Felix a new one.
He hesitated for a moment, then looked at Clara and realized he was in love. Clara and him would lead a happy and prosperous life. To Felix, that was worth one man’s life.
Gerhard trusted Felix. And so it wasn’t hard for him to get an audience with Gerhard in his private chamber, where he kept the safe. Felix didn’t see a reason to delay what was to come, so when Gerhard turned his back to grab him a drink, he quickly drew his dagger and slit Gerhard’s throat, making sure to cover his mouth so he would die a silent death. To his surprise he didn’t feel any regret.
As promised by Clara, Felix found the small vial with the combination. Clara wasn’t lying either when she said they would be rich. He put all the gold in a leather sack, climbed out the window and made haste to meet with Clara.
They had plans to leave Altdorf. It would be to dangerous to stay here after having killed Gerhard. Clara was there as promised. Waiting for him.
“Did you get everything?”, she asked. As soon as he showed her the bag he noticed her eyes looking over his shoulder. It turns out she was only waiting for the gold he was carrying. He knew now that she had never loved him. Just like his mother. He had just enough time to realize how pathetic that was before he started to feel the heat of his own blood flowing down his neck.
He was sure this was the end. He thought he had been on the right track. That things were changing for the best, when all he really was, was a fool. Out-played by a ruthless woman with ambitions as big or greater than his own.
But it seemed that fate had a different plan for Felix. He woke up on a makeshift operating table in a dirty alley, being yelled at by someone who looked more like a butcher than a doctor. “WAKE UP YOU PATHETIC FOOL!”, the butcher yelled. “Haha! It worked! I am the best medic in Altdorf! I saved his life!”, he exclaimed apparaently to himself since there seemed to be noone else around. “Oh and that finger was missing before I even found you! Don’t even try to pin that on me, you hear!”, he said stating at him.
“Yes yes yes, it will leave a nasty scar, but at least you are alive right?” his saviour said. Alive. All of the sudden Felix remembered what had happend to him and now we wasn’t so sure anymore he wanted to be alive. He was back to square one. Left with nothing, excpet the clothes on his body and…the dagger. The dagger that had cut off his finger and started this whole chain of events.
Maybe he had gone a bit mad, or maybe it was the subtle effects of the twin-tailed comet, but all of the sudden Felix was filled with a will to live. Not because he had found a new respect for life, but because of a simple hatred for the woman that had taken everything from him. He would not rest until he found Clara and took what he had earned. He was the one that killed Gerhard, he was the one that deserved a better life!
The doctor and Felix became friends over the next few months. The doctor had his own reasons for living in the shadows of Altdorf’s dark buildings, and maybe someday he would let Felix know what those are. But he wasn’t pushing him. For months Felix tried to track down Clara, all that time making sure there wasn’t anyone from the Silent Merchants on his heals. After a while though he felt safer. They either had forgotten about him, thought he was already dead or were playing the long game. But Felix was not going to live in fear and he was not going to settle for a life in poverty. He had been too close to richness for that.
He rose from exactly this postion once before and when he did it again this time, he would make no mistakes. Felix would never lose track of his goal, his scarred neck and missing finger a constant reminder. He will find Clara one day and maybe then, when he stabs her through the heart with his dagger, maybe then he will finally be at peace.